Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Favorite Author: Philip Roth

Philip Roth was born in 1933 in New Jersey, the setting of many of his books. His personal life was often fodder for his fiction, particularly his books chronicling the lives of 20th-Century American Jews. He created an alter-ego in Nathan Zucherman, the protagonist in nine novels. Another trilogy features college professor David Kepesh as the main character. Roth passed away in May 2018 at the age of 85.

I know a lot of women don't like to read Philip Roth, or the other male writers of his generation. I do. I tend to prefer "mid-century" (20th) authors both sexes because I'm drawn to books with hefty plots, omniscient third-person narrators, and a minimum of experimentation. And I like to read books by male authors because I like men and want to understand them. They don't think or act the same way my women friends and I do!

Those I have read so far are in red. Those currently on my TBR shelf are in blue.

Goodbye, Columbus: And Five Other Short Stories (1959) (National Book Award winner; reviewed here)

Letting Go (1962)

When She Was Good (1967)

Portnoy's Complaint (1969) (Modern Library’s Top 100 list)

Our Gang (1971)

The Breast (1972) (Kepesh)

The Great American Novel (1973)

My Life As a Man (1974) (proto-Zuckerman)

Reading Myself and Others (1976)

The Professor of Desire (1977) (Kepesh)

The Ghost Writer (1979) (Zuckerman)

Zuckerman Unbound (1981) (Zuckerman)

The Anatomy Lesson (1983) (Zuckerman)

The Prague Orgy (1985) (Zuckerman)

The Counterlife (1986) (Zuckerman) (National Book Critics Circle Award winner)

The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography (1988) (nonfiction)

Deception (1990)

Patrimony: A True Story (1991) (nonfiction)

Operation Shylock: A Confession (1993)

Sabbath's Theater (1995) (National Book Award winner)

American Pastoral (1997) (Zuckerman) (Pulitzer Prize winner)

I Married a Communist (1998) (Zuckerman)

The Human Stain (2000) (Zuckerman) (reviewed here)

Shop Talk (2001) (nonfiction)

The Dying Animal (2001) (Kepesh)

The Plot Against America (2004) (reviewed here)

Everyman (2006)

Exit Ghost (2007) (Zuckerman)

Indignation (2008)

The Humbling (2009)

Nemesis (2010)

Last updated August 8, 2019.

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